90 Day Close Out Process of a Sponsored Project


Most agencies require the University to submit a final invoice or financial report when a project ends.  The Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC) is responsible for preparing these reports, submitting them, and certifying on behalf of the University that project expenditures comply with agency financial terms and conditions.  If you manage sponsored project funds for your department, you assist in this process by knowing and participating (where applicable) in the following procedures below:

  1. 90 days prior to the award end date the PAASFC Office will advise the department and PI that a sponsored project will be ending.
  2. The Post Award Administrator will partially fill out the Financial Expense Report (FER) then forward the form electronically to the department financial manager and the PI. Below are the areas to pre-fill before sending the FER to the department contacts.
    • To (department administrative contact)
    • PI  (Name of PI)
    • Award Number (agency number for the award)
    • Project Number
    • End Date
    • Final Report  (if applicable)
    • Annual/Interim Report  (if applicable)
    • Award Budgets ( Column A )
    • Cost Share (indicated if cost sharing applies to this award)
    • PAASFC Contact  (post award administrators name)
    • Ext  (post award administrations phone extension number)
  3. PAASFC will work with the department during the last 90 days of the project and the first 45 days after the end date of the project ensuring the department is actively in the close out processes and to address any issues of fiscal compliance that maybe discovered.
  1. Use Position Query (located in Peoplesoft HCM/HR under Self Service) to find all positions that are currently funded on the project that is ending.  For those positions that are filled, initiate a Funding form to move the employee to an active funding source with an effective date prior to the end date of the project.  For those positions that are vacant, please use the Reports To form to inactivate the positions. 
  2. Perform a preliminary review of expenditures 90, 60 & 30 days before the project ends, and perform a final review of the ledger 30 days after the project end date. Be sure to:
    • Review all encumbrances. Determine which incurred expenses won’t post to the ledger by the end of the project period.  Determine which encumbrances should be lifted which should be charged to the project.
    • Review account codes for unallowable expenses.  Without agency approval, those expenses must be removed from the project.
    • Verify that the award budget and specific expense limitations haven’t been exceeded.  Many agencies require that expenses conform to the award budget or have spending limits on specific categories.  Without agency approval, expenses that exceed the budget must be removed from the project.
    • If the total budget balance is in overdraft, transfer the expense overruns off the project.
    • If there is a budget unexpended balance, review the award policy.  Your options may include”
      • Confirm with the PI, and then return the balance to the agency.
      • Transfer appropriate expenses to the project.
      • Request permission from the agency, through OGCS, to extend the project end date so continued spending may occur.
      • Request permission from the agency, through OGCS, to transfer the balance to a continuation period of the project.  (if appropriate)
  3. Review subsequent expenses (those posted after the end date).  Verify that they legitimately apply to the project and were incurred before the end date.
  4. Confirm that all appropriate expenses have been posted to the project.
  5. Make sure that all expenses comply with award terms and are appropriate to the project.
  6. Prepare the Financial Expense Report (FER) and submit to the Post Award Administrator no more than 45 days after the project ends.

Closing an award out is a collective process with close communication between the department and PAASFC.  The FER was created to enable this process to be streamlined, efficient, provide direction with the result of a clean close out within the 90 day window of time allowed by most sponsors.  Nothing is more frustrating to all involved in the closing of an award that drags out for months after the end date of the project, in addition to being non compliant.